This chapter has explored some important issues relating to research ethics, including at what stages of research ethics should be considered, some of the common ethical issues that arise, some potential solutions to these issues, and some of the key processes that may be involved in obtaining ethical approval. It has also provided templates for creating the other two documents that, along with a research protocol, form the core documents that are often submitted for ethical review. However, what this chapter has also highlighted is that ethics are not just of relevance to research but also overlap with practice. As such, this chapter follows on from Chapter 8 in discussing some of the complexities and sensitivities around delivering arts interventions in healthcare.
For more information about the history and development of research ethics, Tsiris, Farrand, and Pavlicevic (2014) provide an overview at the start of their Guide to Research Ethics for Arts Therapists and Arts & Health Practitioners. The book also contains guidance on UK research ethics processes, although it must be noted that some of the processes described have changed since the book was published.(9)
In the final part of this book, we move from a consideration of research practice to research findings. Chapter 2 explored some of the biopsychosocial impacts of the arts for health, citing key research from the last few decades. In the fact file in Part IV, we will explore further how the arts have been found to support specific health conditions, with reference to inspiring case studies, more resources, and a bank of ideas for new projects.